Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tutorial: Polymer clay plates

Polymer clay plates for miniatures, charms etc.

A tutorial for making miniature plates from polymer clay :) One of my most requested tutorials on my old blog.
*Note, This is just a quick demo - Take your time and make some good plates instead :)

En hurtig trin for trin guide til at lave tallerkener af Cernit/Fimo til miniature eller lignende.

--> When I first started out making miniatures I made my own plates as well. But, as I got more serious about making these tiny food items I began buying ceramic plates from miniature stores (actual stores and online) + ebay. At some point I AM going to make my own ceramics but at the moment there's no way my boyfriend will let me have a 1000○C kiln in the apartment.... So, I prefer buying my plates for now :) - However, sometimes you want a plate of a certain size, shape or color, and a homemade polymer clay plate could work.
I'm been on the lookout for a material that would give me a nice glossy look, and I've found one! But there are different finishes you can add to polymer clay plates, a couple of them are;
1, acrylic paint and glaze - can look really good!, I just wanted something a bit more durable than paint.
2, glaze alone - glaze can give a really nice look, the problem I find is that you have to apply a lot of glaze in order for it to look OK.

The material I've now found is Efcolor cold enamel. It's a powder which melts in the oven. It says "150○C" on the label but I baked my plates at 120○C and it worked just fine...
These powders create (as the name says) an enamel looking finish. The tubes aren't that big, I put them on my computer so you could get an idea of the size compared to the keyboard.

I've already ordered more colors. Would you like to see "swatches" once they arrive? - I know that it can be hard to choose colors just by looking at pictures websites provide you.

Here you can see swatches of the colors I chose in my first order. Left to right: White, ivory, sand, black, light pink.
I didn't try to make it neat, I just poured a bit of powder onto a piece of white Cernit.

-->



As I wrote in the beginning - This is just a quick demo to give you an idea of how I do when making my own polymer clay plates. Take your time and get as good a result as possible.
You can use this technique to make plates, bowls, trays, cups, whatever you want.

Materials you'll need:
-Polymer clay. I recommend white or a color matching the color you want your plate.
-Cookie cutters (you can do it without as well)
-Mold putty (I'm using amazing mold putty)
-Clay cutting blade
-Large ball tool, something that's rounded or even your finger.
-Liquid clay (not extremely necessary but you'll see what I use it for.
-Cold enamel powder (or glaze, paint etc if you prefer that)


1, There are more than one way you can begin this project. You can roll out a ball of clay and just flatten it with your fingers (which works just as well), or you can roll out a sheet of clay and cut out some circles. - This method is good if you want to have an exact height when making multiple sizes of plates.
2, Round off/smooth the edges to create a flat dome shape. Place something flat (eg. your blade) on the top and press down to get a flat bottom for the plate. Roll out a thin snake of clay.
3, Add the clay snake to the bottom. Use some sort of tool (I'm sorry this isn't mentioned in the material list) to smooth out the clay where the end pieces meet. You now have your basic clay plate :)
4, Bake and let cool. Now make some molds :)
5, Fill up your mold with clay and use the blade to trim off the excess.
6, Take your finger or rounded tool and press press it into the center. You'll need to go back with the blade and trim off clay a few times. Lastly I use my finger to just smooth everything out.
5, make a few plates
6, Now, you can either work on a piece of paper, pour on the powder, and pour the excess powder back into the bottle, or you can put the powder into some other container. I chose the last option :) The jar shown contains powder from just 1 bottle so there's definitely product enough for many projects.
7, I added some liquid clay to my fingers and spread it on the plates, then dropped them in the jar and used tweezers to turn it. You're supposed to drizzle the powder on top of a project but I thought this would be a good way of doing it :) Try to get an even coating. Even though it smooths out a bit in the oven you'll be able to see bumbs if it's applied unevenly.
Bake them and you're done! :)


5 comments:

  1. Best plate tutorial I have come across.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!! Hannah

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  3. Tak for de fine ideer:-D og de flotte videoer. Hvor køber du amazing mold putty? Er det på ebay eller kan det købes her i Danmark? Hilsen Vibeke

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